Recent ?dynamical? approaches to relativity by Harvey Brown and his colleagues have used John Bell's own solution to a problem in relativity which has in the past sometimes been called ?Bell's spaceships paradox?, in a central way. This paper examines solutions to this problem in greater detail and from a broader philosophical perspective than Brown et al. offer. It also analyses the well-known analogy between special relativity and classical thermodynamics. This analysis leads to the sceptical conclusion that Bell's solution yields (...) neither new philosophical insights concerning the foundations of relativity nor differential support for a specific view concerning the existence of space-time. (shrink)
Novelty is a key concept to understand creativity. Evaluating a piece of artwork or other creation in terms of novelty requires comparisons to other works and considerations about the elements that have been reused in the creative process. Human beings perform this analysis intuitively, but in order to simulate it using computers, the objects to be compared and the similarity metrics to be used should be formalized and explicitly implemented. In this paper we present a study on relevant elements for (...) the assessment of novelty in computer-generated narratives. We focus on the domain of folk-tales, working with simple plots and basic narrative elements: events, characters, props and scenarios. Based on the empirical results of this study we propose a set of computational metrics for the automatic assessment of novelty. Although oriented to the implementation of our own story generation system, the measurement methodology we propose can be easily generalized to other creative systems. (shrink)
In discussing the works of 16th-century theorists Francisco de Vitoria and Alberico Gentili, this article examines how two different conceptions of a global legal community affect the legal character of the international order and the obligatory force of international law. For Vitoria the legal bindingness of ius gentium necessarily presupposes an integrated character of the global commonwealth that leads him to as it were ascribe legal personality to the global community as a whole. But then its legal status and (...) its consequences have to be clarified. For Gentili on the other hand, sovereign states in their plurality are the pinnacle of the legal order(s). His model of a globally valid ius gentium then oscillates between being analogous to private law, depending on individual acceptance by states and being natural law, appearing in a certain sense as a form rather of morality than of law. (shrink)
Francisco Suárez (1548-1617) publicou em 1597 sua obra-prima em metafísica, as Disputationes metaphysicae. Na trigésima terceira Disputa – o objeto deste artigo – Suárez defende primeiramente a substância sobtrês aspectos: como “ens per se” (uma entidade independente), como o que permanece no tempo, e como o suporte fundamental de acidentes. Secundariamente, ele utiliza três distinções com o objetivo de articular a noção de substância: substâncias completas e incompletas, substâncias perfeitas e imperfeitas, e a distinção entre substância primeira e substância (...) segunda. Uma gota d’água, por exemplo, é uma primeira substância completa, mas relativamente imperfeita. Em comparação com ela, a alma humana é uma primeira substância incompleta, mas mais perfeita. A regra é: quanto mais perfeita, tanto mais incompleta. Por trás dessas distinções, Suárez elabora um aspecto dinâmico da substância. A abordagem é aristotélica, sem incluir aspectos de filosofia social ou filosofia existencial. (shrink)
This article intends to argue that Francisco de Vitoria’s conception of the Spanish Conquest of America is based upon notions that stem from various sources of the 14th and 15th Century. One of his most important source is the Opus septipertitum de contractibus, written by the German theologian Conradus Summenhart, whom Vitoria quotes frequently. By comparing both thinkers it can be shown that Vitoria’s basic terminology concerning rights and dominion is in greatly indebted to Summenhart’s account.
This talk, delivered at De l''autopoièse à la neurophénoménologie: un hommage à Francisco Varela; from autopoiesis to neurophenomenology: a tribute to Francisco Varela, June 18–20, at the Sorbonne in Paris, explicates several links between Varela''s neurophenomenology and his biological concept of autopoiesis.
Francisco Varela’s work is a monumental achievement in 20th century biological and biophilosophical thought. After his early collaboration in neo-cybernetics with Humberto Maturana (“autopoiesis”), Varela made fundamental contributions to immunology (“network theory”), Artificial Life (“cellular automata”), cognitive science (“enaction”), philosophy of mind (“neurophenomenology”), brain studies (“the brainweb”), and East- West dialogue (the Mind and Life conferences). In the course of his career, Varela influenced many important collaborators and interlocutors, formed a generation of excellent students, and touched the lives of (...) many with the intensity of his mind, the sharpness of his wit, and the strength of his spirit. In this essay, I will trace some of the key turning points in his thought, with special focus on the concept of emergence, which was always central to his work, and on questions of politics, which operate at the margins of his thought. I will divide Varela’s work into three periods – autopoiesis, enaction, and radical embodiment – each of which is marked by a guiding concept; a specific.. (shrink)
Interpreters disagree on the origin that Francisco Suárez assigns to political obligation and correlative political subjection. According to some, Suárez, as other social contract theorists, believes that it is the consent of the individuals that causes political obligation. Others, however, claim that for Suárez, political obligation is underived from the individuals' consent which creates the city. In support of this claim they invoke Suárez's view that political power emanates from the city by way of "natural resultancy". I argue that (...) analysis of Suárez's less studied De voto and De iuramento reveals that, for Suárez, consent causes both the city and the citizen's political obligation. Moreover, close inspection of the notion of causation by natural resultancy within Suárez's metaphysics shows that what emanates from the body politic in this fashion is not, as claimed, political subjection and political obligation, but rather the city's right to self-mastership. Because for him political obligation does originate in consent it is not incorrect to regard Suárez as a social contract theorist. (shrink)
The Renaissance sceptic and medical doctor Francisco Sanchez has been rather unduly neglected in scholarly work on Renaissance scepticism. In this paper I discuss his scepticism against the background of the ancient distinction between Academic and Pyrrhonian scepticism. I argue that Sanchez was a Pyrrhonist rather than, as has been claimed in recent years, a mitigated Academic sceptic. In keeping with this I shall also try to show that Sanchez was crucially influenced by the ancient medical school of empiricism, (...) a school closely allied with Pyrrhonism. (shrink)
It is with great sadness that I record the death of Francisco Varela, who passed away at his home in Paris, on May 28, 2001. With his passing, the science of consciousness has lost one of its most brilliant, original, creative, and compas- sionate thinkers.
During the seventeenth century Francisco Suárez was considered one of the greatest philosophers of the age. He was the last great Scholastic thinker and profoundly influenced the thought of his contemporaries within both Catholic and Protestant circles. Suárez contributed to all fields of philosophy, from natural law, ethics, and political theory to natural philosophy, the philosophy of mind, and philosophical psychology, and--most importantly--to metaphysics, and natural theology. Echoes of his thinking reverberate through the philosophy of Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, and (...) beyond. Yet curiously Suárez has not been studied in detail by historians of philosophy. It is only recently that he has emerged as a significant subject of critical and historical investigation for historians of late medieval and early modern philosophy. Only in recent years have small sections of Suárez's magnum opus, the Metaphysical Disputations, been translated into English, French, and Italian. The historical task of interpreting Suárez's thought is still in its infancy. The Philosophy of Francisco Suárez is one of the first collections in English written by the leading scholars who are largely responsible for this new trend in the history of philosophy. It covers all areas of Suárez's philosophical contributions, and contains cutting-edge research which will shape and frame scholarship on Suárez for years to come--as well as the history of seventeenth-century generally. This is an essential text for anyone interested in Suárez, the seventeenth-century world of ideas, and late Scholastic or early modern philosophy. (shrink)
Context: Francisco Varela and Humberto Maturana worked closely together for several short episodes and wrote joint publications during the 1970s and 1980s. After that their respective paths in life diverged. Problem: What is the common ground and what are the differences between these two authors with respect to their lives and aims? Method: The author reconstructs their common history in the form of personal reflections and conversations with Varela. Results: The personal reflections reveal the intellectual path Maturana took to (...) develop his way of thinking, in particular his fascination with explanatory processes and the phenomenon of life. The conversations with Varela portray him as a man of great “cognitive autonomy,” whose career started with the intention to study “psychism in the universe.” For Varela it seemed possible, through meditation, to reach transcendental reality as something that exists externally to the living of human beings and that can be known as such. Maturana, by contrast, claims that there is no way to refer to such a universal truth. Rather, human beings generate all the worlds they live in. Implications: While the two men collaborated in both teaching and writing, they eventually created two different constructivist approaches driven by a different set of questions. Constructivist content: Both Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela have decisively contributed to constructivist approaches. (shrink)
In the fiftieth disputation of his Disputationes metaphysicae (1597), Francisco Suárez distinguishes three notions of time. Suárez offers an account of the ways in which the predicate ‘when’ can be taken and presents a more general perspective based on the principle of duration, rather than the Aristotelian definition of time. His view differs from Aristotle’s and Aquinas’ account because Suárez emphasizes that time cannot be reduced to the number of the movement of the last sphere in the Aristotelian model (...) of the cosmos. The intrinsic duration of a thing is its true time; this duration can be taken in an absolute or a relative sense. In an absolute sense, intrinsic time is an internal property of a thing that cannot be really distinguished from existence itself and cannot be compared with other durations. In a relative sense, we can imagine this intrinsic duration as filling up a certain interval within an infinitely extended imaginary succession. This imaginary succession is an ens rationis. The third concept of time is the Aristotelian notion: this is just an extrinsic time, a measurement of one movement by means of a comparison with another movement, especially the motion of the last sphere. Finally, in order to show the value of Suárez’s insights, I compare them with some contemporary issues in the analytic philosophy of time. (shrink)
We explore the distinctive characteristics of Mexico's society, politics and history that impacted the establishment of genetics in Mexico, as a new disciplinary field that began in the early 20th century and was consolidated and institutionalized in the second half. We identify about three stages in the institutionalization of genetics in Mexico. The first stage can be characterized by Edmundo Taboada, who was the leader of a research program initiated during the Cárdenas government (1934-1940), which was primarily directed towards improving (...) the condition of small Mexican farmers. Taboada is the first Mexican post-graduate investigator in phytotechnology and phytopathology, trained at Cornell University and the University of Minnesota, in 1932 and 1933, respectively. He was the first investigator to teach plant genetics at the National School of Agriculture and wrote the first textbook of general genetics, Genetics Notes, in 1938. Taboada's most important single genetics contribution was the production of "stabilized" corn varieties. The extensive exile of Spanish intellectuals to Mexico, after the end of Spain's Civil War (1936-1939), had a major influence in Mexican science and characterizes the second stage. The three main personalities contributing to Mexican genetics are Federico Bonet de Marco and Bibiano Fernández Osorio Tafall, at the National School of Biological Sciences, and José Luis de la Loma y Oteyza, at the Chapingo Agriculture School. The main contribution of the Spanish exiles to the introduction of genetics in Mexico concerned teaching. They introduced in several universities genetics as a distinctive discipline within the biology curriculum and wrote genetics text books and manuals. The third stage is identified with Alfonso León de Garay, who founded the Genetics and Radiobiology Program in 1960 within the National Commission of Nuclear Energy, which had been founded in 1956. The Genetics and Radiobiology Program rapidly became a disciplinary program, for it embraced research, teaching, and training of academics and technicians. The Mexican Genetics Society, created by de Garay in 1966, and the development of strains and cultures for genetics research were important activities. One of de Garay's key requirements was the compulsory training of the Program's scientists for at least one or two years in the best universities of the United States and Europe. De Garay's role in the development of Mexican genetics was fundamental. His broad vision encompassed the practice of genetics in all its manifestations. (shrink)
Ever since it was annexed from northern Mexico in 1848, San Francisco has catered to tourists attracted to its good year-round weather, natural splendor, as well as its licentious entertainment industry and, since the 1950s, the buoyancy of its lesbian and gay community. The author looks at the growth and vibrancy of alternative lifestyles in San Francisco, arguing that the visibility of the queer community there is not the result of general tolerance in the Western outpost but, paradoxically, (...) the outcome of a struggle between the lesbian, gay, and transgendered residents of the city and the repressive local, state, and federal agencies whose harassment of the alternative communities, culminating in the 1930s and 1940s in frequent bar-raids, arrests, and the “war on vice,” brought about the queer community’s politicization and grovving militancy. (shrink)
Francisco Valles, also known as ‘The Divine Valles’, was most probably the greatest Spanish physician of the Renaissance and succeeded Andreas Vesalius, whom he knew well, as the personal doctor of Philip II of Spain. Valles studied in Alcalá and wrote several works, among which the influential Controversiarum medicarum et philosophicarum. The importance of Valles’s contribution to the debate concerning the number, the specific tasks, and the localization of the internal senses in Aristotle and in Galen is attested by (...) Pedro da Fonseca’s appreciation of his contribution and by the relevance of Valles’s works to the study of the history of philosophy and of anatomy, in antiquity, in the Renaissance and in scholasticism. (shrink)
Francisco Suárez (1548–1617) sieht es als Problem an, dass nach dem traditionellen Modell der Kunstproduktion der Gedanke immer nur als Vorkonzeption und damit auf sehr vermittelte Weise in das Kunstwerk eingeht.
Connections among Varela's theory of enactive cognition , his evolutionary theory of natural drift, and his concept of autopoiesis are made clear. Two questions are posed in relation to Varela's conception of perception, and the tension that exists in his thought between the formal level of organization and the Jonasian notion of the organism.
Wonder, miracle, occult science, poetry, and the epistemological implications in Renaissance authors: Marsilio Ficino, Giovanni Pico, Pietro Pomponazzi, Agrippa of Nettesheim, Giordano Bruno, Francesco Patrizi, Tommaso Campanella, Francisco Suárez.
The dynamic approach to understanding of the human consciousness, its cognitive activities and cognitive architecture is one of the most promising approaches in the modern epistemology and cognitive science. The conception of embodied mind is under discussion in the light of nonlinear dynamics and of the idea co-evolution of complex systems developed by the Moscow scientific school. The cognitive architecture of the embodied mind is rather complex: data from senses and products of rational thinking, the verbal and the pictorial, logic (...) and intuition, the analytical and synthetic abilities of perception and of thinking, the local and the global, the analogue and the digital, the archaic and the post-modern are intertwined in it. In the process of cognition, co-evolution of embodied mind as an autopoietic system and its surroundings takes place. The perceptual and mental processes are bound up with the structure of human body. Nonlinear and circular connecting links between the subject of cognition and the world constructed by him can be metaphorically called a nonlinear cobweb of cognition. Cognition is an autopoietic activity because it is directed to the search of elements that are missed; it serves to completing integral structures. According to the theory of blow-up regimes in complex systems elaborated by Sergey P.Kudyumov and his followers, the idea of co-evolution is connected with the concept of tempoworlds. To co-evolve means to start to develop in one and the same tempoworld and to use the possibility – in case of a proper intergation into a whole structure – to accelerate the tempo of evolution. The cognitive activities of the human being can be considered as a movement (active walk) in landscapes of co-evolution when he cognizes and changes environment and is changed himself by the very activities. The similar conclusion can be drawn from Francisco Varela’s conception of enactive cognition. (shrink)
Franciscus Suarez de additione Unitatis ad Ens et prioritate Unitatis respectu MultitudinisSolutio quaestionis de natura additionis conceptuali Unius ad Ens, quam Suarez proponit, traditionem Aristotelico-Averroisticam (per Aquinatum mediatam) primo sequitur. Secundum hanc traditionem, Unum non superaddit Enti nisi determinationem negativam. Suárez similiter negat Unum dicere perfectionem positivam ab Ente ut sic distinctam, sive ex natura rei, sive ratione tantum. Sententiam suam exponens, Suarez multas alias conceptiones critice pertractat, praecipue autem doctrinam auctorum quorundam (plerumque Franciscanorum) impugnat, qui docent Unum superaddere ad (...) Ens perfectionem quandam positivam, quae tamen ratione tantum ab Ente ut sic distinguitur. Argumentum principale pro ista sententia assumit, indivisionem ut negationem negationis intelligendam esse, quae dicit affirmationem. Secundum Suarezium istam notionem indivisionis etiam D. Thomas defendit, qui negationem, quam Unum dicit, divisionem unius entis ab altero negare tenet. Istam solutionem Suarez reicit, sententiam propriam proponens, secundum quam Unum non negativam divisionem unius entis ab alio, sed intrinsecam et essentialem divisionem unius entis in semetipso negat, quae est divisio realis et positiva. Hac explicatione innitens Suarez consequenter doctrinam Aquinatis et Thomistarum de prioritate concpetuali Unius prae Multitudine, quem ut solutionem difficultatis in doctrina Aristotelis de oppositione privativa Unius ad Multum repertae confecerunt, reicit. Suárez prioritatem realem indivisionis prae divisione, itemque et realem et conceptualem prioritatem Unius prae Multo defendit. Haec Suarezii sententia cum doctrina eius de additione mere negativa Unius ad Ens bene consona esse videtur. Translatio: L. NovákFrancisco Suárez on the Addition of the One to Being and the Priority of the One over the ManySuárez’s solution to the problem of the conceptual Addition of the One to being follows firstly the Aristotelian-Averroistic tradition mediated by Aquinas. According to this tradition, the One adds to being only a negative determination. Suárez claims that the One does not signify any positive perfection either really or conceptually distinct from being as such. Suárez’s own solution to the problem is presented in a critical discussion with many different conceptions, but Suárez pays most attention to the theory of certain, mainly Franciscan, authors who hold that the One adds to being a positive perfection which is only conceptually distinct from being as such. The main argument for this thesis is based on the assumption that indivision is to be taken as a double negation, by which an affirmation is expressed. This concept of indivision was, according to Suárez, also defended by Aquinas, who holds that the negation which is expressed by the One negates the division of one being from another. Suárez rejects this solution and proposes his own conception, according to which the One does not negate the negative moment of the division of one being from another, but the positive moment of an essential division of a being in itself. The One thus negates a real positive division of being in itself. On the basis of this theory, Suárez further rejected Aquinas’s (and the Thomistic) conception of a conceptual priority of the One over the Many, which was put forth as an answer to the old Aristotelian problem of a privative opposition between the One and the Many. Suárez defends the real priority of an indivision over a division as well as a real and conceptual priority of the One over the Many. Suárez’s conception seems to us to be compatible with his concept of a negative Addition of the One to being. (shrink)
Primero de todo y antes de abordar el tema para someterlo a vuestra consideración tendría que pedir disculpas. Disculpas porque todo lo que voy a exponer no puede ser sino una aproximación de lo que pudo haber sucedido y lo es por varias razones. Primera, porque actualmente los médicos no nos atrevemos a dar ningún diagnóstico sin que exista el aval de una prueba radiológica o de laboratorio que, de manera concluyente, demuestre el origen del proceso patológico. Por ejemplo, en (...) el caso de una enfermedad infecciosa precisamos de un cultivo de un líquido orgánico que certifique el agente causal de la misma o cuando estamos delante de un tumor canceroso, de una biopsia de tejido que testifique su presencia (a .. (shrink)
Se indaga la relación que se da en la República entre los dos significados de ousia: como propiedad en el sentido de posesiones y riqueza, o en el sentido de esencia o sustancia. Aparte de las relaciones económicas asociadas al préstamo, al intercambio y al interés, se examina la función que, respecto de la ousia, cumple la moneda en la economía como recurso para disociar la riqueza de las posesiones, con lo cual logra un nivel de universalidad y equivalencia equiparable (...) al del propio ser. The article inquires into the relation established in the Republic between the two meanings of ousia: property in the sense of possessions and wealth, and essence or substance. Besides the economic relations associated with loans, exchange, and interest, the paper examines the role of currency in the economy, with respect to ousia, as a means of dissociating wealth from possessions, thus achieving a degree of universality comparable to that of being itself. (shrink)
Nuestro propósito se cifra en esta ocasión, en mostrar los motivos filosóficos que condujeron al Martin Heidegger a introducir la metafísica suareciana en la configuración de su ontología existenciaria. Tomaremos como hilo conductor la historia del ser y más en concreto, la de su olvido en favor del ente y que Heidegger desarrolló en diferentes escritos como un momento negativo, fundamental y previo a la exposición de su concepción de la Metafísica. En este relato dejaremos anotado, la función capital que (...) para el proyecto heideggeriano de reinterpetación de la Metafísica desempeñó, la idea de la metafísica griega y en particular de la aristotélica alcanzada por el pensador alemán. Abordaremos este problema con cierta extensión pues sostenemos que el concepto de la metafísica suareciana manejado por Heidegger está determinado por su comprensión de la Metafísica de Aristóteles. Y que se resume en su conocida interpretación onto-teológica. En último término, el peso de la reflexión heideggeriana sobre la metafísica de Suárez, recae sobre el concepto de existencia y su modo de aprehensión que es comprendido como un antecedente moderno e imperfecto del Dasein como vía de acceso al Ser. (shrink)